KNOW HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN SEEKING COSMETIC PROCEDURES OR SURGERY.
On 28 September 2017, the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission released a Public Warning relating to the unsafe and illegal practices of some Beauty Salons and Cosmetic Clinics.
So what does that mean for YOU?
Basically, it means that some Clinics out there, right now, on the face of it above-board and credible, and supposedly working under the supervision of a registered Medical Practitioner, but in reality, they are NOT! They are relying on the general public being unaware of the Regulations and are thereby putting the health and safety of their patients at risk.
So, what are the Regulations and what can you do to protect yourself?
First and foremost – do your research thoroughly and confirm all the following points BEFORE consenting to any cosmetic procedure:
1. By law, prior to any:
- Anti-Wrinkle Injections, or
- Dermal Fillers
you must first be assessed by a registered Medical Practitioner (not a Nurse) from that clinic. It is illegal for any of the above Schedule 4 Medications to be administered if you have not first been consulted by a registered Medical Practitioner and be under the direct care or supervision of that Medical Practitioner.
The administration of medications by non-registered and unqualified persons is dangerous. Consumers who receive treatments in these circumstances are taking enormous risks that could ultimately lead to life-changing injuries or even death – as sadly happened in Sydney this year, resulting in the tragic death of a Beauty Salon owner who received injections into her breasts by an unqualified practitioner.
In other words, receiving any of the above treatments from a Nurse after being consulted only by the Nurse and not the doctor of that practice, is also both dangerous and illegal!
2. Are the products being offered to you listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG)?
The import and supply of medications that are not listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) is illegal and very dangerous since there is no way of determining the safety of these medicines.
If the product offered isn’t approved by the ARTG – and a Clinic still offers it to you – it’s like playing Russian Roulette with your health and safety!
Some clinics seek to attract clients by offering extremely discounted prices and they are able to do so by purchasing using cheap, counterfeit products from overseas that may look like the genuine products but in reality, are anything but! If ever in doubt – don’t be afraid to ask the Clinic WHAT product they intend to use, where they got it from and check the packaging for authenticity and manufacturer’s details.
3. Is the Clinic appropriately registered and properly equipped for infection control?
- Having skin penetration procedures at a Beauty Salon where there is no registered Medical Practitioner is unsafe and illegal, and you should immediately notify the relevant local council. This then enables random inspections to be conducted to monitor compliance with Infection Control Regulations.
- You should also satisfy yourself that the clinic adheres to the following basic hygiene requirements:
– the clinic needs to be clean and hygienic.
– the clinic must have a ‘Contaminated Waste Disposal’ system.
– the clinic needs to have a hand basin with a clean supply of water, a liquid soap dispenser and single-use towels or a hand dryer for drying hands.
– protective equipment needs to be worn by the person carrying out the procedure in the form of gloves that have never been worn and a clean gown or apron.
– needles must not have been previously used and need to be properly disposed of using an appropriate ‘Sharps Container’.
– medication ampoules must only be used once and you are entitled to ask that the single-use ampoules are shown to you before the procedure starts.
4. Are you having Cosmetic Surgery?
There are extra protections in place for anyone who is undergoing Cosmetic Surgery procedures such as major Liposuction, Facial Implants, Breast Augmentation, Breast Reduction & “Tummy Tuck” to name just some.
New legislation introduced in March 2017 requires that:
- The above-mentioned procedures must only be performed in licensed premises such as accredited Hospitals or licensed Day Surgery Centres.
- Any administration of an anaesthetic to achieve more than conscious sedation must only be performed in licensed premises such as accredited Hospitals or licensed Day Surgery Centres.
- The procedure is performed by a practitioner registered in Australia with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). You can verify your doctor’s registration at ahpra.gov.au
If the practitioner is not registered in Australia, DO NOT proceed.
5. Have you been properly informed?
The practitioner performing the procedure should provide you with enough information to enable you to make an informed decision about whether or not to have the procedure.
That means having a consultation where you are not rushed and are able to ask questions. Your consultation should also be with the Doctor/Surgeon who’ll be doing your procedure, not by a Nurse or Sales Consultant of the practice.
Consumers should be provided with at least the following information:
- What does the procedure involve?
- Is the procedure new or experimental?
- What products are being used in the procedure and are these products registered?
- What are the likely outcomes of the procedure?
- What are the risks and possible complications associated with the procedure?
So that’s a whole lot of advice, but what does it all mean?
Basically, it just means going to a reputable, honest and regulation-abiding Clinic which is professional in its treatment of you, is clean and hygienic and uses proper protective equipment and instrument sterilisation.
When it comes to Cosmetic Surgery procedures, the law requires that you as a consumer MUST be assessed by the Medical Practitioner (i.e. the Doctor/Surgeon) of the clinic who will perform the procedure. You should not be assessed only by a Nurse or other Staff Employee.
An additional way of protecting yourself when considering Cosmetic Surgery is to ask the Medical Practitioner about their qualifications, training and relevant experience in the procedure you are considering. You are entitled to ask this!
One other thing to always keep in mind when comparing prices for cosmetic procedures, is to also remember to compare QUALITY!
Don’t be caught into spending less now and then needing much more to fix it later – and that’s provided it’s fixable.
If you can’t afford to have the procedure, treatment or surgery with a reputable Clinic now, the next best thing to do is wait until you can!